According to the statement, the Stormzy Scholarship, which will be awarded to the selected undergraduate students over their four-year stay will cover all tuition expenses and also provide a maintenance grant which will reduce their need to request for government or commercial loans.
“There are so many young black kids all over the country who have the level of academic excellence to study at a university such as Cambridge – however we are still under represented at leading universities. We, as a minority, have so many examples of black students who have excelled at every level of education throughout the years,” Stormzy said.
“I hope this scholarship serves as a small reminder that if young black students wish to study at one of the best universities in the world, then the opportunity is yours for the taking – and if funding is one of the barriers, then we can work towards breaking that barrier down,” he added.
The grime rapper introduced the scheme to help increase representation of black students who attend Oxbridge institutions as their numbers are historically low.
“Stormzy is an inspiration, not just for his music but for his engagement on social issues and encouragement of young people. He has achieved great success in his career, but recognises that this was at the expense of his studies and the option of a place at a top university. He wants to inspire talented young black people who have their sights set on university to follow their dreams. The scholarships are a beacon for black students who might otherwise have felt they could not come to Cambridge,” Professor Stephen Toope, the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge said in the statement.
“Last year, 61 new black students arrived to take up their courses at Cambridge, the largest number ever but not nearly as many as we would like. We know we need to work harder to ensure that black students not only apply to study at the university, but that they feel at home here and achieve their full potential,” Professor Toope added.
The announcement comes off the back of a very historic performance at this year’s Glastonbury Festival as he became the first-ever black British solo act to headline the pyramid stage, and the second youngest ever solo act to do so at age 25, the youngest being a 24-year-old David Bowie in 1971.
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Last night I headlined Glastonbury in a stab-proof vest custom made by the greatest, most iconic living artist on planet earth, the one and only BANKSY. I opened my set with words of encouragement from my hero and ultimate inspiration and the greatest rapper to ever grace planet Earth Jay-Z. I got to sing with the most incredible and legendary man I know – Chris Martin – a man who’s genius I am so in awe of that it makes me go to studio and try to emulate him. Raleigh Ritchie – one of our country’s greatest musical talents thank you my brother. Dave & Fredo – I love you my brothers, UK’s finest rappers, thank you from my heart for helping me light up the stage and making one of the most beautiful moments our culture has seen. Thank you to my lil brother @djtiiny theres no way in hell I could do this without you you have my back always and I’m so proud of you – you are my brother in arms we go to war together I appreciate you. To Bronski, Amber, Misty, Trev, Kojo, Tim, James, Sam & my whole tour/creative/production team I appreciate you all and I’m forever grateful. To my band and to my amazing choir who have worked tireless and given this their everything all whilst sounding flawless, effortless and amazing I appreciate you all very much I can’t do this without you. Massive thank yous to: the W.A.R dance crew you lot are now my brothers thank you for bringing a God-sent energy that I truly needed. To Princess K – you are a superstar, the crowd went absolutely crazy for you and I’m so excited to watch you take the world by storm. To Ballet Black, the grace, beauty and feeling you blessed the world with yesterday was felt in the hearts of millions. To Mac, Trizzy, Bobby, C1, Flipz my BikeStormz family I’m so happy the world got to see you lots talent and skills – you just showed the world about bikelife – be very fucking proud. To Big TJ & James for getting me ready and prepared for the energy this set would need. To the whole of my #MERKY team – my family who hold me down and have my back till the end. THANK YOU GUYS, THANK YOU GOD. I am proud of myself and I feel blessed and fulfilled and purposeful. Your Glastonbury 2019 headliner, over and out. 🎤❤️
Regarded as a major event in British culture and arguably the biggest music festival in the world, the festival has been graced by the global elite in the music industry, being headlined by David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Radiohead, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.